Among Carlmont’s many clubs that work to improve the lives of others is Hope Brigade, which is in its first year and has spent a majority of its focus donating to cancer patients and shelter animals.
Club President and freshman Cindy Chen said, “So far, we have held a holiday toy drive for children with cancer. We donated 50 toys and nine gift cards to the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. I also taught some members how to knit, and we were able to gather 12 scarves and donate them to adults with cancer at the Stanford Hospital. Finally, we made and donated 40 activity kits to children with cancer at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.”
Members are often thrilled at the opportunity to reach out to the community and make a difference in someone’s life through the club.
Freshman Kate Mannion said, “Hope Brigade is important to me because I know that the things we do, like making presents for children with cancer and other health difficulties, have a real impact on those affected. It’s a great feeling knowing that you’ve helped someone else.”
However, Hope Brigade’s kindness doesn’t stop at service — the club also strives to create a welcoming and engaging environment so that all members can feel included and comfortable with one another.
“Hope Brigade’s goal is to be a real community to others and impact society positively. To me, community means that you can have an amazing circle of people who you can count on, and I just feel like this club’s goal is meant to be that warm, loving, and welcoming community. We want to be that feeling you get when you eat a warm cookie or a pack of gummy bears,” said Chen enthusiastically.
Much of the club’s success is due to Chen’s hard work in leading Hope Brigade’s projects, as well as her upbeat and energetic spirit that fosters an inclusive community and cheery members.
“My favorite part about Hope Brigade is the excitement and energy that club members have during meetings. No one thinks of going to Hope Brigade as a chore or job, and I think that is entirely because of Cindy’s attitude during meetings. Cindy’s number one priority is making sure everyone is having a great time, even if it makes the club a little less productive. While this may not be the most effective way of doing things, in the long run, we will never run out of happy, enthusiastic club members,” said freshman Joseph Eden.
As Hope Brigade continues to provide aid to those who are less fortunate, Chen hopes that the club will expand further so that they can work on bigger community service projects in the future, but currently, Chen is thankful for how her club has grown since the beginning of the year.
“I am so grateful for all of the amazing people who attend my club and give me such wonderful support. Everyone knows each other, so the vibe is always very warm and cheerful in the club,” said Chen.